"" Writer's Wanderings: Christmas Magic at Disney

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Christmas Magic at Disney

The Magic Kingdom

Our day at the Magic Kingdom started a little before 9 AM when the gates opened and we joined the flood of bodies streaming through. Number one on the list was the Buzz Lightyear Ride that I love. From there we just followed our hearts and our memories. Several rides meant a long wait for a short ride but most of the time we managed to catch a short wait. Not bad for not having used the fast pass option.

The wristbands we had worked well to get us into the park but they still do a fingerprint to keep you from passing on the band to someone else to use. The difficulty with prearranging the fast passes though was that they were confusing. Instead of just getting a single FP to the ride you wanted, they offered three different rides. While we may have wanted the one, we didn't want the other two and three I believe was the limit for the fast passes. I'm sure if we had had our daughter-in-law there to take charge, we'd have done a better job but we weren't interested in riding all the rides. Less pressure made the day pleasurable.

Since the park closed early at 7, we opted to have a nice lunch at Tony's rather than a big dinner somewhere else. We had spaghetti ala the Lady and the Tramp style. Really good!

The early closing was because there was a special Christmas celebration that cost an extra $75/person. That meant that we missed out on the electrical parade but we did get to see the castle become a beautiful "ice sculpture" thanks to Elsa and Anna. And we enjoyed all the Christmas decorations and music throughout the day.

Epcot at Christmas

If we had only gone to Epcot, it would have been worth the trip. We quickly rode those rides we wanted to in Future World and of course talked with Crush (my favorite). The turtle appears to be in a tank or rather the viewers are in the tank and Crush is looking at the humans. He actually interacts with the audience. It is amazing.

The original plan was to go back to the room and rest a bit but since we hadn't waited in too many lines, we decided to walk completely around the World Showcase where all the countries are represented. I'm so glad we did. Each country had special presentations of what they did for the holidays including several different versions of Santa and even a gift giving witch (Italy).

Dinner reservations were at the Chefs de France, our favorite place to eat in the World Showcase. We remembered fondly introducing our kids to escargot there and the first time we ate there for an anniversary. As soon as we were done though we hustled to the area in front of the American Adventure where we needed to line up for the Candlelight Processional. We didn't know exactly what to expect but it appeared there would be lots of singing of Christmas carols and a reading done by Chandra Wilson.

Although we had to sit in the back row, we still had a great view of a spectacular show. Men and women in choir robes carrying candles marched to the large stage before us as they sang and formed a living Christmas tree in the center of two large stands of choir members. The Liberty Singers were featured and the reading was of the Christmas story from Luke. It was a perfect evening even with temperatures dropping and a little rain spotting us. There are no words to describe how beautiful it was and the couple of thousand gathered there singing Silent Night was enough to give you goose bumps.

While nothing could top the Candlelight Processional, the IllumiNations event that always closes out the day at Epcot came right behind it. We ended up buying two fleece blankets from the gift shop in the United Kingdom since there was no time to go back to the room to retrieve jackets. The usual fireworks show was lengthened with a special spectacular for the holiday season. Fireworks actually danced across the water of the lagoon.

It was a long day and we were ready to get warm. While the temperature was still around 60 F, there was a really cold wind blowing. I was wondering if the snow had followed us south. We snuggled under the covers with visions of fireworks and a cruise ship dancing in our heads.

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